Remission necessary: ANC chief whip

2012-04-30 15:46

Johannesburg - The decision to grant special remission of sentence to certain offenders was necessary, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said on Monday.

"This exercise will therefore significantly reduce overcrowding and bolster the impact and effectiveness of rehabilitation programmes on serving inmates," Motshekga said in a statement.

"We call on all recipients of this presidential remission to take full advantage of this opportunity and become useful and better members of the society."

President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday, Freedom Day, that his administration would grant the special remission to specific categories of sentenced offenders, probationers and parolees.

According to weekend reports, former police commissioner Jackie Selebi and Zuma's former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, would benefit from the decision.

In 2005, the KwaZulu Natal High Court sentenced Shaik to 15 years’ imprisonment for fraud and corruption.

In March 2009, after serving two years and four months of his sentence, Shaik was released on medical parole after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Selebi was convicted of corruption on 2 July 2010, and handed a 15-year sentence.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said more than 35 000 offenders could be released, depending on an assessment.

Motshekga said constitutional prerogative had been exercised by various presidents since 1994 to mark special occasions.

Those sentenced for aggressive, sexual, firearm and drug-related offences, as well as escapees, would not qualify for early release.

  • Mario Bisogno - 2012-04-30 15:56

    As if there are not enough criminals on the streets. The ANC don't care about the people because if they did then they would be looking to take more off the streets not put more on.

      Godfrey - 2012-04-30 16:40

      Is it possible that the UN are zooming in on " conditions and overcrowding" of our prisons???

      frederik - 2012-04-30 16:42

      Just more proof that the ANC are totally inept to govern!!! Lord I wish I live the day to see them fall!!!! I pray for their downfall. Please join me!!!

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-04-30 16:49

      I wonder if the terminally ill Clive Derby-Lewis is included in this farce.

      Fussed - 2012-04-30 16:55

      Well then tell us Shaik and Selebi are not included in this Remission

      Squeegee - 2012-04-30 17:27

      So, 35000 criminals have to be freed or have sentences reduced to cover Zuma's nepotism.

      Fussed - 2012-04-30 18:31

      Koos - 2012-05-01 08:39

      There votes will be needed in the next election.

      Fussed - 2012-05-01 09:51

      Of course you woud say that, gov is there biggest supplier.

  • Irene - 2012-04-30 15:57

    LOL! It'll reduce the overcrowding in prisons, but put the population at risk with these scum roaming around unable to find work - not that they're interested in work in the true sense of the meaning. Build more prisons and keep them away from us.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-30 16:09

      Maybe they can turn the useless soccer stadiums into prisons - at least get some use out of them?

      Julio - 2012-04-30 17:40

      I agree, build more prisons and throw more criminals in, including some of the scum corrupt police officers.

      Brian - 2012-04-30 18:54

      these are all pals, theft from the taxpayer is not that bad, so feel free to apply for another job where you can repeat the offence

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-04-30 19:36

      Here is an idea for bored prisoners......In 1960's the prison services used prisons on a farm, that was between Jhb and Pretoria, It literally was a HUGE farm....they grew their own food, sold it for pocket money and in the process learnt the ins and outs of good for them to farm once freed....kept them out of trouble and a plus...the tax money was saved in feeding the prisoners.

      alf.pop - 2012-07-16 17:35

      The real reason is that the ANC wants to reduce the risk of another government official being caught out visiting a friend or family behind bars using government funds! Granted the last one had to fly to Switzerland, but at least reduce the risk locally!

  • Deon - 2012-04-30 15:59

    Rather build some more jails than to free criminals.

      Fussed - 2012-04-30 16:56

      More jails cheaper than tolls

      Stirer - 2012-04-30 17:48

      this is the cost of not controlling our country's borders effectively. How many of those in jail are foreigners?

      SaintBruce - 2012-04-30 18:27

      Use old, disused mines as jails. They don't need the light of day in SA jails as they sit and watch TV all day anyway! Keeping the rotten scum underground means they only have limited methods of escape available. The worse the offense - the deeper they are kept. Lesser offenders can use the old mine hostels on the surface. To let an offender out before they have been 'corrected' is to ask for an increase in crime!

  • Shirley - 2012-04-30 15:59

    Necessary for whom??? I think this undermines the whole "pay for your crime".I wonder how many corruption cronies are going to get "Get out of jail free cards"???Devious decision!

  • Smile - 2012-04-30 16:00

    The ANC doed not respect the law (because they are the ones breaking it, and they hand out their comrades get out of jail free cards) They dont respect the victims of crime. They dont respect the citizens of SA; all they want is the criminal vote :(

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-30 16:07

      Please make sure you vote responsibly next time!!

      Adam - 2012-04-30 20:23

      I wonder why our percentage of population that are in prison is TEN TIMES that of Nigeria. Oh. of course..the anc do not govern in Nigeria. Stop the corruption. Put the stolen tax money back into the economy. Change government...VOTE anc OUT. Scrap BEE. Employment will increase. The prison population will decrease.

  • Mario Bisogno - 2012-04-30 16:00

    Maybe they want more criminals so we don't notice how much cake they are eating.

  • IAnon - 2012-04-30 16:01

    Who you brown-nosing Motshekga? Another 35000 unemployable to add to an already growing pot of unemployed. What Idiots -

  • Angela - 2012-04-30 16:01

    So would the death penalty for murder, rape, child abuse........

  • Adil Smit - 2012-04-30 16:03

    Releasing 14000 criminals earlier than the courts, parole committees and most importantly the victims think is the right time may be a lot of things but necessary it is not.

  • Bill - 2012-04-30 16:05

    Yep, that old adage "Justice Must Be Seen To Be Done" is thrown to the wolves as we release criminals before they have served the sentences delivered by our courts. No wonder the criminals operate with complete impunity - the chances are they will not get caught, but if they are unlucky enough to get caught they will be released on bail as is their "right" - then they can pay a policeman to "lose" the docket before they go to trial, and can continue their reign of terror on law abiding citizens. If they do not have the cash or connections to "lose" a docket, they might get a prison sentence from the court, and then they can look to the politicians to arrange an early release, either on medical grounds or some general amnesty. Do we really want to be the laughing stock of the world?

  • CapeTownRob - 2012-04-30 16:05

    In the ANC's defence, this is in line with their campaign promises in the last general election

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-04-30 16:05

    People commit crimes, are found guilty, victims have to come to terms with those criminal acts and then have to fear or maybe experience them again because the criminals have been RELEASED? And that because the jails are too full? This is an absolute joke. Why are the jails full in the first place? Because the government has created a country of impoverished, hungry and desperate people.

      Rob - 2012-04-30 16:13

      Bless: I am going to challenge your logic. If the government created the criminals via impoverishment, then society is responsible, not each individual criminal. Society then must find a solution, including early release....! I do not believe that the majority of criminals fall into your categories, rather criminals see criminal behaviour as a rational method to get what they want. That behaviour is not dependant on their impoverishment etc. What is needed is a deterrent to reduce crime. Releasing is the diametric opposite, it substantiates the belief that crime pays. Accountability for individual actions should be at the core of any deterrence programme.

      Smile - 2012-04-30 16:17

      Well said!!! We now live in a country where the rights of the victims are trampled on by ANC corruption. The only way people can liberate themselve with bloodshed is to fight the ANC with their educated vote! VOTE DA! Or even Cope, or any other party (just not the corrupt one)

      Xavier7034 - 2012-04-30 16:29

      I was thinking this morning......Outa (E-tag heroes) seems, somehow, to have, for the very first time, to have united people on an issue....Maybe, just maybe this is the beginning of a UNITED group against ANC bungling

      Smile - 2012-04-30 16:31

      @criticallyhonest - The ANC govertment is responsible because they have set the example for criminals to follow (they commit crime, they free criminals) they have established that crime pays Economicaly they have failed to supply jobs because of their economic policies, They have failed to supply service delivery because they have not increased gdp by provideding those jobs (and because funds are drained because of corruption and lack of foresight)

      Wendy - 2012-04-30 16:51

      @ criticallyhonest - You have just insulted all the impoverished people who do not turn to crime!

      Rob - 2012-05-01 08:36

      Wendy: It certainly is not my intention to insult the very few people that are impoverished, that is judged by absolute poverty measutrement. Would you care to define absolute poverty? I do not suggest that in extreme cases it does not exist, but by and large poverty in most parts of the world today is relative poverty, not absolute. In other words it is determined by what other people have and you don't. I am quite sure that absolute poverty does apply to some in SA, it would be useful to have meaningful data. However there is data for countries like the UK where there are many people living in relative poverty. Such data shows that criminal behaviour is neither reduced by prison nor welfare payments. Suggesting that such behavior is caused by something else....I would think social environment/family plays a large part.

  • valentine.monroe - 2012-04-30 16:05

    I very much like the ANC for their foolishness, this is a sign that they cannot rule a country. Change is muchly needed. SA citizen kindly adhere to the ANC's plea and vote for a different party in the next elections?

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-30 16:06

      Absolutely. Make a place for me in the queue!

      Achmat - 2012-05-01 07:29

      absolutely we really need a change so that we may feel safe in this country again u got my vote for a different party

  • Tumisang - 2012-04-30 16:07

    Rubbish Mathole...this man is one of the most educated fools you can find...he supports everything Zuma says or does even if its ridiculous...

  • Sishii - 2012-04-30 16:09

    So... remit their sentences, and you have 35 000 potential repeat-offenders on the street because they won't have any work. Where will they go when they are re-arrested?

  • Terry - 2012-04-30 16:10

    once again the ANC (Arrogant National Criminals) are looking after their own!

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-04-30 16:12

    What next?!? I can only hope that people start waking up and vote these idiots out of power.

      Muzi - 2012-04-30 16:22

      The DA Federal Chairperson aplauded the decision mentioning that it should have been taken long time ago. He also mentioned the need of alternative sentencing for non-serious crimes in the form of community service (i.e. Cleaning street, painting schools, cleaning beaches, etc.) which local municipalities can't afford to do effectively. Now, does it make better now? Are you less suspicious now that the DA support the move? Turns out your DA would have done the same have they been in power!

      Bart - 2012-05-01 00:26

      There is no difference between the ANC and the DA!!!!!!!!!!!

      commentator.guy - 2012-07-05 18:13

      @ muzi - These forums are for people to spout hatred, not for actual discussion. What most people here are not taking into account is the people being released are non-violent criminals. i.e theft (where there was no assualt), white collar crimes, motor related crimes (where no one was seriously injured) etc. Not like they releasing random prisoners :/ Just the ones they believe are not going to be repeat offenders, oh and the comrades.

  • Jason - 2012-04-30 16:17

    Yes that the a brilliant solution well done mr Zuma... f-k me these guys are useless they have no idea.

  • Gert - 2012-04-30 16:19

    Well done President Zuma!! One step closer to a banana republic... Looking after all your cronies.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-04-30 17:29

      "One step closer to a banana republic.." I thought we were there already? The country is a mess.

  • Muzi - 2012-04-30 16:21

    The DA Federal Chairperson aplauded the decision mentioning that it should have been taken long time ago. He also mentioned the need of alternative sentencing for non-serious crimes in the form of community service (i.e. Cleaning street, painting schools, cleaning beaches, etc.) which local municipalities can't afford to do effectively. Now, does it make better now? Are you less suspicious now that the DA support the move?

      Lacrimose - 2012-04-30 17:18

      There was a guy on the radio two weeks ago who was doing community service. He is an artist and begged and pleaded with dept of corrections to be allowed to paint municipal buildings or teach children art at a youth centre. They turned him down and instead made him clean cells at the local police station for a year. So the alt. sentencing doesn't seem to be working so well either.

      Anton - 2012-04-30 17:29

      Actually, the DA's chairperson of its federal executive (James Selfe) described this remission as a "mockery of justice" and said alternative ways to address overcrowding in prisons should be sought. So, instead of Shaik finding excuses to stay out of jail, strap him into an orange outfit and get him to remove the gantries for shipment back to Europe (or something like that).

      Smile - 2012-04-30 18:01

      Muzi - Get off the crack Muzi, you need a patato in that cANCer propoganda hole, SAY NO TO ANC NOISE SAY NO TO ANC CRIME SAY NO TO ANC'S IDIOCRACY VOTE DA!!!

      Angela - 2012-04-30 18:01

      @Lacrimose - since when does a criminal get to choose his sentence? What was this guy doing community service for? Cleaning cells at the local police station sounds okay to me at least that way they can also keep an eye on him.

      Lacrimose - 2012-04-30 18:07

      @Angela - not sure as I joined radio show a bit late. My point is that community service would work better if people could use the talents that they have in serving out their sentence. There are many jobs that public works is never going to get to so why not let an artist paint municipal buildings rather than having him cleaning cells? Instead, another guy doing his community service painting a local clinic is a qualified plumber and no doubt the community service guy doing the plumbing was probably skilled in something else. So we need some sanity brought to the community service program too.

  • Heinrich - 2012-04-30 16:27

    This article reads like the president wanted to free some of his buddies so to make it look better he will free a bunch of other people also just so it doesn't look like he has favorites? I CALL BS!!

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-04-30 17:30

      My thinking as well. A golfer dude and a dirty cop?

  • Olivia - 2012-04-30 16:27

    Idiotic government. They are letting criminals out on the street. We are running rampant with murderers, rapists, abusers, etc. etc. and still they want to let more out. Led by a corrupt government no wonder this is how they thingk.

  • Thamsanqa - 2012-04-30 16:29

    Every time Zuma uses his standard 2 brain something wrong happens....... This guy as corrupt by birth

  • hc12345 - 2012-04-30 16:30

    Well how do we save money? They will be re-arrested, re-tried, re, re, re......All this cost money.

  • mbuchling - 2012-04-30 16:30

    Shaik is terminally ill but after almost 3 years he is still alive? Really want his doctor if I ever get ill! People in prison have more rights than people outside prison. But this just shows that government is not as serious about crime as they say they are. Idiots

      George - 2012-05-01 06:21

      The public protector should investigate this irrational decision that endangers the citizens of SA, courtesy of their president. The ancestors are very unhappy and will cause the tokoloshe to visit.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-05-01 10:04

      They are not interested in anybody's welfare at all. The upcoming elections will reflect just how SouthAfricans feel about the ANC.

  • Leon - 2012-04-30 16:33

    they must just go and go and look for food in our servants dust bins.

  • Jannie - 2012-04-30 16:39

    Criminals will always look after each other! You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours - in other words you dont spill the beans on me and I will care for you. Jakob Zooma is a real warrior for criminals - and he owes Jackie Selebe and Shabir Shake!!!

  • nspaynter - 2012-04-30 16:43

    "We call on all recipients of this presidential remission to take full advantage of this opportunity and become useful and better members of the society." In your dreams. Those offenders who are dealing in criminal activity right there in prison: drugs, gangsterism, using cell phones to make deals on the outside, it's not going to happen Mr. Chief Whip. They going to continue exactly what they are doing now when they are released. Assess each offender for their suitability for release and reward those who are responding to rehabilitation programmes.

  • Sharon - 2012-04-30 16:47

    he is realeasing thousands to buy the silence of two or three comrades

  • Raymond - 2012-04-30 16:51

    We need many more prisons to be built and those out of work (who aren't inside)could help with labour - at least it gives people a salary during these hard times. If we are taking prisoners out early (after the courts have issued due sentences) and there is a queue for those going in we surely need more cells! The route cause is crime in our society and the criminals all need locking away for longer terms - not shorter ones!

  • michellec.strydom.5 - 2012-04-30 16:58

    So I guess this means I get to pay less tax towards the criminals' pap-en-sous expenses?

  • Glyn - 2012-04-30 17:02

    If you think that there are too many criminals in your street just get SANRAL to build a toll road in your area! That will decrease the density of criminals!! Magic!!

  • Edward - 2012-04-30 17:04

    why???? beecause you have 1) not allocated enough budget to guard these criminals and 2)they need votes in upcomming ellections. our money was wasted putting these criminals behind bars. now these, not rehabilitated, criminals will roam free once again. our tax money will pay for the claims against the police should they commit new crimes.

  • Jannie - 2012-04-30 17:22

    WARNING!!! WARNING!!! The poor victims and whissel blowers of these remission criminals are at risk. Please watch your backs!! Zoommal do'nt care about you. He did this to protect himself at all cost. WILL STATS BE MADE AVAILABLE OF THE RE-ADMISSION OF REMISSION CRIMINALS???

  • Lacrimose - 2012-04-30 17:22

    This is another unwanted tendency of the govt. Instead of finding lasting solutions to problems, they just put the burden back onto the public for them to deal with. Unfortunately the administration of prisons has a very poor track record and every time you do these mass releases, many who do not qualify manage to get out due to some bungling/bribing/lost documents/mistaken identity. So please understand that we do not trust your reasoning nor do we trust you to let the right people go.

  • Lazarus - 2012-04-30 17:23

    I hope he extend the remission to Sicheka's girlfriend in Switzerland.

  • Lulama - 2012-04-30 17:26

    what about does that are sentenced for accident ,will they benefit

  • Shannon-lea - 2012-04-30 17:50

    What a joke!!!!

  • moruthane - 2012-04-30 17:55

    @least Sicelo Shiceka won't be one of the beneficiaries of Jacob Zuma's special remission of jail sentences...

  • Danny - 2012-04-30 18:03

    The CRIMINALS that are going to be released are indeed going to take full advantage... and commit crimes again.

      Raymond - 2012-04-30 20:38

      Absolutely,we start all over again and in the process,how many innocent victims will suffer.You see,Showerhead,does not have the mental capacity to take the safety of citizens of the country into consideration when making a decision.Whithin one year,ninety percent of these criminals will be pushing time again.LAW AND ORDER AND HONESTY IS ALSO NECESSARY.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-05-01 09:55

      Why should the prez care how many people die as a result of crime? He's on a mission to populate South Africa all by himself.

  • flinkjon - 2012-04-30 19:25

    Sad so sad the country still sit with hoards of historically privileged people that is still full of hatred.More worried to sacrifice a human being for their belongings collected in this dark world.People that preach to the criminal not to steal.While they idolize and worship what been build by stone,metal,wood and plastic.While the world is much worried about the criminal contend, they been put there by intention. You got so much things to say and how to deal with criminals but nobody want to know this is not a place to collect wealth that will rust and will eventually erode.Then we still got to face the day come what may.Sweet to be talking and condemn and bring more suffering.But remember a GREAT G-D IS WATCHING YOU.And you may stand in the way while these criminals subliminally warn you.As their forefather is also MANDATED TO BUILD THE HOLY CITY while they became hardened transgressors.Your comfort zone will be removed for not listening while you have been called!!!

      Raymond - 2012-04-30 20:48

      One of the Ten Commandments,may I remind you,THY SHALL NOT STEAL.

      George - 2012-05-01 06:17

      Bring back the death penalty and dispatch as many deserving criminals to meet their maker as possible. Suddenly the jails will become very empty.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-04-30 19:38

    35 000?!? That's quite a sizeable amount of voters the ANC are getting themselves over there...

      Lacrimose - 2012-04-30 20:28

      Next election is in 2014, at least half should be back in jail by then

  • Lekker - 2012-04-30 19:41

    The problems we're facing is because people have, historically, voted with their hearts and not their heads - the kind-of 'ANC for life/kill for Zuma' mentality. This is understandable as part of the fall-out and aftermath of the Apartheid era. But, enough time has passed now, and the good of the country should be uppermost in all voters' minds. If people vote with their heads, not their hearts, then just maybe we may get a righteous dispensation, and the ANC might become the opposition party. Which would be good, because historically the ANC has done better in opposition than as rulers.

      Raymond - 2012-04-30 20:42

      There IS nothing in their heads so they have to vote with their heart

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-04-30 20:03

    Let them come we are ready.

  • Raymond - 2012-04-30 20:24

    This country must produce the biggest jokers and clowns than any other.All that is happening here is that,one problem is being solved and another one created.Moving a problem from point A to point B.The problem is NOT going to go away.

  • George - 2012-04-30 22:08

    Mr Motshekga, is it necessary to offer any consideration or support to the countless victims of crime in this country?

  • Gaby - 2012-04-30 22:09

    Relax guys. We have crossed the second Rubicon. It is the ANC that is in remission...just a bit more chemo to endure. The nausea will pass and it will be gone for good.

  • Minah - 2012-04-30 22:36

    LOL! something somewhere is totally wrong in this whole picture, just can't put my finger on it

  • braamc - 2012-05-01 00:18

    Commit more crime, join the ANC

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-05-01 04:40

    What kind of logic is this?!? Jeez you guys in government are absolutely brain dead!